A child growing up in 2022 has a host of different challenges from a child of 50 years ago. Besides a world transformed by technology, dramatic changes in attitudes, culture, and mindset transformed the world that children find themselves in today. Descriptions such as entitled, disrespectful, and self-absorbed are characteristics many have attributed to “generation Alpha.” How does a parent trying to raise a child in such an environment educate and nurture a child in a climate different from that of 10-20 years ago?
The Consortium of Jewish Day Schools (CoJDS) invited parents to an evening of growth for parents in this challenging generation. Larry Thompson has presented on the topic of discipline for CoJDS in 28 cities throughout the US to educators in over 50 Jewish day schools. For the first time, CoJDS invited Mr. Thompson to address parents with his Responsibility Centered Discipline (RCD) system. With his Kansas twang, Mr. Thompson enthralled the parents with a mixture of wisdom, humor, and emotion. “Children need a balance between the authoritative and the coddling approach. We need to support them to develop their own muscles in making the right decisions.”
After attending an RCD presentation to schools in Philadelphia in 2019, Rav Sholom Kamenetsky, son of Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (the Rosh Yeshivah of the Philadelphia Yeshiva), noted how much of the basis of the RCD approach is rooted in Torah concepts. While the RCD method has gained popularity through CoJDS in schools across the US, the organization sees the next opportunity to bring this wisdom to parents, as well. The event was graciously hosted by the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) in their spacious auditorium. Over 200 parents joined from HALB, the Yeshiva of South Shore, the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam, HAFTR, Magen Israel Center, Shulamith School for Girls, the Bais Yaakov of Queens, and Gesher Early Childhood Center.